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Akamihk Energy Incorporated Montana First Nation Solar Facility Community Generation Application, AUC Decision 25657-D01-2020

Link to Decision Summarized

Small Scale Generation Regulation – Conditional Approval


In this decision, the AUC qualified the Montana First Nation Solar Facility (the “Project”) as a community generating unit pursuant to Section 3 of the Small Scale Generation Regulation.

Background

Akamihk Energy Incorporated (“Akamihk”) was granted approval to construct and operate a 4.6-megawatt power plant designated as the Montana First Nation Solar Facility, located on land in the Montana Indian Reserve, No. 139.

On June 12, 2020, Akamihk filed Application 25657-A001 with the AUC for approval to qualify the Project as a community generating unit.

The AUC considered that the decision of this application would not directly and adversely affect the rights of a person pursuant to Section 9 of the Alberta Utilities Commission Act. Therefore, a notice of application was not issued, and a hearing was not required.

Discussion

In the application, Akamihk stated that it is wholly owned by Montana First Nation and that Montana First Nation meets the definition of community group under Subsection 1(e)(iv) of the Small Scale Generation Regulation.

FortisAlberta Inc. (“Fortis”) confirmed that it had qualified the project as a small-scale generating unit under the Small Scale Generation Regulation. Fortis stated that it would be responsible for the metering costs of the Project should the AUC approve the community generating unit application.

Akamihk provided an estimate of $42,460.33 for materials and $8,122.46 for labour as the amounts that would be incurred for the Project meter.

The Project’s construction start date was April 20, 2020, and its in-service date was estimated to be October 30, 2020.

Findings

As required by Section 3 of the Small Scale Generation Regulation Akamihk filed its application in the form established by the AUC and included a community benefits agreement between it and Montana First Nation as required.

The AUC found that Akamihk’s application to designate the Project as a community generating unit satisfied the requirements of the Small Scale Generation Regulation.

The AUC qualified the Project as a community generating unit under the Small Scale Generation Regulation.

The AUC noted that the amount of $50,582.79 provided by Akamihk as the cost to be incurred for the Project meter includes installation fees, which are not eligible for compensation under Subsection 5(2)(a) of the Small Scale Generation Regulation. After subtracting the costs to install the metering system, the AUC determined that an accurate estimate for the cost to purchase the meter was $42,460.33.

The AUC was satisfied that as the distribution owner, Fortis was entitled to recover the cost incurred to purchase the meter for the Project from the Alberta Electric System Operator, pursuant to Subsection 5(3)(a)(i) of the Small Scale Generation Regulation. Under Subsection 3(3)(b) of the Small Scale Generation Regulation, the AUC determined that Fortis shall be compensated $42,460.33 for the cost to purchase the meter.

Notwithstanding this determination, the AUC required Akamihk to provide written confirmation of the actual meter cost once this amount is known no later than 30 days after the power plant is in service.

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